As Donald Trump starts to run away from the Republican field, his former vice president is struggling to keep his head above water. Here’s why Mike Pence’s campaign finances are crumbling, and what that means for his candidacy in 2024.
When Mike Pence officially announced that he was running for president in June of 2023, he said it was his mission to “reintroduce” himself to the American people.
Will the Real Mike Pence Please Stand Up
With more than two years of space between him and his former boss, Pence hoped that he would be able to show voters who he really was.
The Office Doesn’t Come Cheap
Accomplishing that goal, of course, would require plenty of money. It’s not cheap to run ads and travel all over the country, especially at the pace that’s required to mount a successful presidential campaign.
The Wallet Is Open
And Pence certainly has spent money in the months since he dropped his hat into the ring for the Republican presidential nomination.
Raking in the Dough
According to the New York Times, financial reports released by the Pence campaign show that the former Indiana governor was able to raise about $3.3 million in the third quarter.
Spending at Breakneck Speed
Unfortunately for Pence, he also spent nearly all of that windfall as he ramped up his appearances and made sure he qualified for the first two debates.
Those debates require a certain number of individual donors to qualify as a participant.
A Different Kind of Red
Beyond burning through that incoming cash, Pence and his staffers racked up more than $600,000 in debt this summer.
That in-the-red status puts his entire plan for 2024 in question.
Missing in Action
Indeed, the signs that Pence might be pulling back are as clear as his disappearance from the limelight.
He Probably Spent More on Haircuts
Though Pence has continued to speak at various conservative events in recent weeks, the Times reports that his ad spending plummeted from more than $14,000 in September to a mere $400 through the first few weeks of October.
How the Other Half Lives
Those numbers are a mere pittance in the face of money that’s washing over the campaigns of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
Both of those camps report eight-figure fundraising results from the third quarter.
May Have Seen the Last of Him
Now, Pence faces a challenge even getting back in front of potential voters on the national stage.
Bigger Than Most Indiana Cities
In order to qualify for the third Republican date on November 8 in Miami, Pence needs to show that he has at least 70,000 individual donors.
Hearing Aids Turned Down
When pressed for how close Pence was to that threshold, his campaign spokespeople were mum on the topic.
But as the Times reports, that could be a lofty number for a candidate with several very wealthy supporters who have funded him so far through a super PAC (political action committee) called Committed to America.
Throwing Money Into the Wind
That heavy-duty funding could be wearing thin as fall turns to winter, and as Pence continues to poll in the fourth or fifth slot among Republican candidates.
Not Into Name-Calling
Pence has long positioned himself as a Reagan-era candidate who thinks America should help spread democracy globally.
And one who thinks civility should reign in person-to-person interactions.
Fire Up the Delorean
For a conservative base that has become increasingly radical during the Trump-Biden years, Pence may be a man out of step with his own time.
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